Dashingdiva's Blog

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What does the weekend say about you? May 22, 2011

Filed under: Random Musings,Vintage Finds — dashingdiva @ 8:53 am

Weekends are probably everyone’s favourite part of the week since we get to do what we truly enjoy in life. If you think about it, it probably says alot about the life you lead and even perhaps about who you are.

Having lived in 3 cities, Singapore, Sydney & Melbourne it’s funny how what we do over the weekend is very much a reflection of how our lives have changed in these 3 cities.

In Singapore, the first question we’ll ask each other on Saturday mornings would be “Where do you wanna go for breakfast?”. This usually leads to some sinfully greasy breakfast like “Kway Chap”  (a mixture of pig’s spareparts boiled in dark broth) or “Prata” (a Indian flatbread). Food especially cheap & good street food is very much a way of life in Singapore.

In Sydney, the question becomes “You wanna go to the beach today?” & this is followed by me scrambling out of bed to the window to check on the weather.  I really do miss this aspect of Sydney life and especially our ritual of heading to the beach for a brekky with Raindrop and then a nice stroll along the coast.

Finally in Melbourne, the question is now “Which market do you wanna go to today?”. Weekend markets are so much a part of our lives now especially living in a region where there’s an abundance of Antique markets & Farmers markets. The beauty of visiting markets is, it’s a great way to discover & explore Melbourne. Visiting these markets usually lead you to some very pretty & quaint towns like what we discovered this weekend when we went to Tyabb & Bittern. Tyabb’s famous for it’s Antique shops while Bittern has a very cute country town atmosphere.

Here are some photos to share:

Antique Shop in Tyabb

Found this 1920's Music Scroll sitting in a dusty corner of the shop! The Song was titled "Moonlit Waters", doesn't it sound so romantic?!

Unusual Antiques Sitting out waiting for Loving Adoption

I LOVE the Rocking Horse!

Mr & Mrs Lim? (NOT! cos the lady's tits are showing!)

Cute cafe "made" out of a old train carriage. Wanted to try their devonshire tea with scones but was too full from lunch

Tried to relive our sydney days. Impromptu picnic lunch of fish & chips by the water. Unfortunately, being Melbourne, it was too cold to be outdoors so we "camped out" inside our car.

Angry Birds when they realised they couldn't get to the chips inside our car!

What did you do this weekend?

As tempting as it may be, don’t stay in bed too long cos there’s a big world out there waiting to be lived & discovered!

 

Friday’s note May 20, 2011

Filed under: Building Dream Home,Random Musings — dashingdiva @ 1:54 am

Lovely note

Saw this lovely photo while blog surfing today…..says exactly how I feel at the mo.

Yes I’m doing mindless surfing on a workday. After 2 weeks of non-stop meetings & pitches….i’m so exhausted today and I don’t feel like working.

Have a great weekend everyone!

xx

 

Little Miss Crafty May 19, 2011

Filed under: Vintage Finds — dashingdiva @ 9:46 am

I promised to show you my DIY projects….so don’t mind me while I show it off a little….I’m just so happy with how it turned out especially since I’ve never known myself to be very crafty….(I scored “C” for Art in school)

Here’s some before & after photos of a shabby chic candleholder made out of a antique wall light, english teacup & saucer and teardrop crystals from a discarded chandelier (the chandelier was a road side find!)

Before - Old & rusty

before - love the details on the base

After

Candleholder with single tear drop crystal

I can’t decide which is nicer….the one with 3 crystals or just 1 single tear drop?

Ok next, the timber musical box which I took forever to refurbished due to a combination of procastination and was also a little nervous about doing the whole sanding & re-painting thing. Thank goodness for Mr Lim, he earnestly used this as an excuse to get a machine sander and got to work right away.

Unfortunately, i forgot to take any photos of the “before” but just imagine a dirty old box with scratches all over.

Here’s what it looks like AFTER some hardcore sanding, re-tarnishing, Painting & decoupage.

After - Vintage Jewelery Musical Box

See the patterns on the drawers? I did that =)

NICE??!!

My next task is to refurbish a old farmhouse style chair. The story behind this find was funny. When we first arrived in melbourne, it was council trash day where people throw out their bulky trash like furnitures. We saw this baby a few houses down and I knew I had to have it. But because Mr Lim was too embarrassed to take it in daylight, we had to sneak in at around midnight, made sure our car’s headlights were off, quickly loaded it and drove off like thieves! There were actually 3 other chairs but Mr Lim refused to help me load it in the car for fear of being caught =( So silly, these are things that people were THROWING out right?

Anyway, I’ve some rather ambitious ideas for it but not sure if I’ll be able to pull it off. We’ll see.

I'm deciding between a Bright Cheery Orange or a Silver Grey...what do you think?

 

Dining Area May 18, 2011

Filed under: Building Dream Home — dashingdiva @ 9:20 am

There are 2 key features of our dream home: one’s the double volume in the dining area and 2nd’s the courtyard right in the middle of the house.

(We wanted alot of light entering the house.)

Our architect has designed it in this way to make our house look bigger because it’s actually on quite a small plot of land (by aussie standards). In his words: “When people walk into your house, they’ll think it’s a mansion even though it’s actually quite small.” and then he gives a loud hearty laugh at his own joke. Funny fellow.

Naturally, to do justice to these key features, alot of thought is now being put into the ID of these areas.

The dining area for a start. The photo below is how I envision the look & feel to be like. The flooring we’ve chosen is very similar to the ones in the photo.

The challenge now is to find a pendant light long and dramatic enough. I do like what is shown in this photo but it looks rather common and it doesn’t really appeal to my creative side (lol). Been surfing for a suitable light and so far the ones I like are waaaayyyyy too expensive! Like 5 figure expensive! Who would’ve thought that lights have a designer price tag as well.

I also can’t decide whether we should go for a few pendants or just one dramatic one. Sigh. So the search continues….

Building & decorating a new home is mostly fun but it’s really quite exhausting & confusing as well.

Still, I simply can’t wait to have our first family meal in our dining room!

 

Big O Burger & it’s babies May 16, 2011

I call this the Big O Burger because it’s seriously orgasmic! To guarantee a authentic big O experience, make sure you use good meat. Mince are suppose to look lusturous RED not murky eww-ish red-brown like I see at some supermarkets.

Serve it with sauteed onions (add a dash of red wine vinegar & some sugar when frying), mushrooms and a sunnyside up egg for that gooey juiciness as you take a big bite through the burger. To complete the experience, please feel free to make a MESS, let bits & pieces of the onions fall out, smear ketchup all over, dribble the yolk all over your lips,  just LET LOOSE!

lol, ok I got abit carried away there, so here’s the recipe.

p.s It took me quite abit of research through various burger recipes to find THE ONE. Please try it, Promise me. No one should ever go through life without experiencing the Big O.

The Big O Burger

Big O Hamburger Recipe

Ingredients

450gms of minced ground chuck or premium mince

1 x small onion finely chopped (as small as you can)

1 x Tablespoon tomato ketchup

1-1.5 x Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1/2 Teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon of rosemary (finely chopped, preferably fresh)

1 egg

Half a teaspoon of salt and a touch of freshly ground black pepper

Method

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and form round patties. You should get around 4 burger patties from this.

Place each patty in heated pan. Use your ladle to lightly press against the patty to, you should hear a nice sizzle as you sear it.

Cook for about 2-3 mins each side or until nicely browned & cooked.

Serve on toasted Burger bun with cheese, onion, egg or whatever you like!

After the Big O, it could spawn some babies if you’ve any leftover burger mince. Use them to make a delish Italian meatball pasta. Roll the mince into smaller balls & oven bake them (remember to coat your baking tray well with olive oil). Prepare a basic tomato pasta sauce (use the bottled ones would do), top it over spaghetti & the meatballs….you have your next meal ready in seconds!

Here’s a photo of Big O’s little babies hiding beneath the pasta sauce:

Big O's babies

 

Awesome Sunday May 15, 2011

I had the most awesome & full-filling Sunday today. I don’t know how we did it but we managed to get so much done.

The day started bright (well not exactly, it was the usual melbourne overcast sky) and early (for a sunday!) with the Trash & Treasure market for a good dose of vintage-ing. We were a little disappointed when we first arrived as there were so few stalls, probably because of the cold & rain. But STILL, I manage to hunt down quite a haul!

For the curious, below are some photos of the junk we patiently sieve through to find our treasures. Yes not very glamorous but so much fun! My mum thinks I’m absolutely mad to enjoy this so much, she calls me a “Kalang guni woman”.

Spot the Treasure!

Vintage Trash & Treasure Market

Anyway, this trip my “treasures” include a very cute old chess seats made of wood & brass, a timber child’s toy chest, a lovely antique salt & pepper shaker, a beautiful orange-y marble trinket box & a silver tray. I’ll post some pics once i get round to taking them.

After the treasure hunt, we found time to experiment 2 dishes that we’ve been wanting to try: Eggs Benedict for Brunch (thanks to Masterchef) and a Big JUICY Burger for dinner. OMG….both turned out glorious, both made us feel like we died & went to gastronomic heaven…by our standards anyway.

Here are some photos. Will post the recipes once I’ve stopped drooling.

Poached Eggs, Ham & Muffins with Homemade Hollandiase Sauce

The Big O Hamburger

Lastly, I finally managed to finish off 2 of my DIY projects – repurposing a timber musical box &  a “alice in wonderland” antique tea-cup candle holder. The 2nd project is actually an order for someone’s wedding. They’re having a Alice in Wonderland theme and the tea-cup candleholders are for the “Mad Hatters Table”…doesn’t it sound just adorable?! I can’t wait to see the final set up! Again, stay tuned to some photos.

Wow! Just recapping what I’ve done today sounds tiring !  I can’t believe how much I manage to squeeze into one sunday….i swear, i sometimes think there are more hours in a day in Australia.

So there, what an Awesome Sunday! I love it!

 

chick chick soup May 14, 2011

Filed under: baking,chicken — dashingdiva @ 1:52 pm

As an extension to the chick chick pie recipe, making a hearty nourishing cream of chicken soup is very much the same. The only major difference is that I’ve substituted the cream with milk….I’m a slave to my waistline, you see…. so my master says no to cream but feel free to indulge for a richer & more “campbell soup” tasting version.

Ingredients

50g butter (i tried to swap this with olive oil for a less fattening version, DON’T! It didn’t work. Unfortunately, like my waistline, it needs FAT for the thickening effect.)

3 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 leek, sliced thinly (only use the white part)

1/3 cup plain flour

2.5-3 cups chicken stock (just use 1 cube of the knorr chicken stock would do)

150ml cream or milk

1 carrot diced into small cubes/slices

500g roast chicken meat chopped (shortcut hint: use the ready roasted chicken from the supermarkets)

1 sprig of thyme or rosemary (add this in if you have them, if not, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. It does add a nice herby zing to the soup)

Method:

1. Melt butter in large saucepan on medium flame. Cook carrots, celery & leek until it softens (5-7mins).

2. Add in the Thyme/Rosemary

3. Add flour and cook for 2 mins stirring to make a paste. Gradually stir in stock & milk. Tip: Adjust the amount of stock/milk according to how thick you like your soup.

4. Stir in chicken & mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper.

5. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover n lightly simmer for 5 mins.

6. Serve with crusty bread.

Tip: Store leftovers in the fridge/freezer. It thickens considerably so you can use them to quickly whip up a chick chick pie!